Analysis Of Arresting The Imagination By Thomas King

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Thomas King invites us to look at how we live our lives through stories by repeating the refrain, “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” In other words, our lives depend on the stories we tell. These stores are our experiences and what we tell each other in order to grow. Our stories shape who we are individually and how we use that to interact with those around us. Thomas King is using these stories to challenge not only our perspectives but also the dominant ideologies. This is also seen in “Arresting the Imagination” when Schwalbe introduces the term “othering.” This term is one created to show that the categories and meanings we have created to define people are not facts of nature but do have serious material consequences.…show more content…
The purpose of this is to show that stories are the foundation of how we live our lives and that each story that we tell, or do not tell, has the ability to change another life. But each story he tells also tells another story. Each story King has introduced us to, had a different purpose. Each story showed us the way Natives were perceived from the beginning of time and until now. His stories invite us into his life and his way of thinking but they also walk us through the history and livelihood of the native people. He shows us the other side of the concept of “othering” as introduced in “Arresting the Imagination.” Most notably was King’s story with the cook on a ship abroad. King said that he was Cherokee and the cook replied with “You’re not the Indian I had in mind.” (pg. 48) This story was a clear representation of the full embodiment of “othering.” Here the cook represents everyone who sees the stereotype of an Indian rather than the actually humans that are Native American. He also shows this when talking about photographs of native people. He says, “We dressed up in a manner to substantiate the cultural lie that had trapped us, and we did so with passion.” (pg. 45) In these two instances, the cook and the process of natives dressing to be an “Indian”, shows the privilege and power those who are not native…show more content…
However, I believe the intended audience is anyone and everyone. for his purpose is to reach the minds of many. I base this belief off of his style of writing, tone, and the small changes he makes in the beginning of each chapter. First off, King begins his narrative with a story about how the earth floats in space on a turtle’s back. In each chapter the same question is asked, “If the earth was on the back of a turtle, what was below the turtle?” Every time the answer was another turtle. It was turtles all the way down. Each time the question is asked by a different individual; a young girl, then a young boy, followed by an older woman, an older man, and finally a woman with a baby. I interpret this as a small change but a significant one. I believe it is a symbol of growth. This growth is present in our society and how we all are subject to these perspectives and ideologies. Each character is different because each character represents a different audience. Secondly, we can sense that King is directing his narrative towards multiple audiences through his style and tone. His writing style has a personal and informal feel to it because he will go off into tangents but still has an academic allure to it because of its purpose.Thirdly, his tone changes multiple times throughout each chapter but
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